MyFC predicts that fuel cells will surpass batteries in energy density and cost efficiency in a few years

By Jean-Jacques DeLislse,
contributing writer

Portable
energy technology vendor myFC says that it will soon reach a point in
development

in which production costs and energy density of its fuel cells will be equal
to, if not greater than, current lithium-ion battery technology. MyFC has based
this assumption dealing mostly with the cost and production of batteries that
inhabit small devices such as smartphones and other portable accessories.

“We
estimate that our fuel cell LAMINA and its fuel will exceed lithium-ion
batteries by late 2020 in terms of energy per volume and weight,” said Björn
Westerholm, CEO of myFC, in a press release. His claims boast of even thinner
smartphones that weigh less as batteries are gradually replaced with myFC fuel
cells over time.

MyFC_Fuel_Cells

MyFC predicts that fuel cells
will surpass batteries in energy density and cost efficiency in a few years. Image
source: myFC.

Unlike
lithium-ion batteries that are self-contained, fuel cells produce energy only
when exposed to a continuous source of fuel and oxygen (usually from air) that
sustains the chemical reaction. Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously
for as long as fuel and oxygen are supplied, whereas a lithium-ion battery runs
out of juice whenever the reactions that are present in its cells cease to
function. There are many types of fuel cells, but all of them consist of an
anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte that allows positively charged hydrogen
ions (protons) to move between the two sides of the fuel cell. At the anode, a
catalyst causes the fuel to undergo oxidation reactions that generate protons
(positively charged hydrogen ions) and electrons.

The
Swedish company has focused primarily on three aspects of energy storage. These
are manufacturing costs, energy density, and energy by weight. MyFC hopes to
surpass lithium-ion batteries in all three of these categories.

That
said, the smartphones of the future could be thinner, lighter, and cheaper to
produce. As fuel cells become easier to produce, they could end the
monopoly on potential power that lithium-ion batteries have had for the last 30
years. The fuel cells could also open up new options for mobility as well,
allowing people to charge devices instantly and without a power outlet by
simply changing the fuel cell. Fuel cells are also more stable than batteries
and would not leak fuel, potentially explode, or catch fire.

It
seems like the age of lithium is at an end, and the world should get ready for
the fuel cell revolution. In the next few years, we can hope to see MyFC refine
this technology and bring the new fuel cells to the market by 2020.